Discount e-tailer Overstock.com
announced a pair of deals to acquire the now defunct Web sites and
inventories of Gear.com and Miadora.com. Under terms of the
land-grab, Overstock.com will stock its shelves with $14 million worth of
sporting goods equipment and another $12 million in jewelry.
Gear.com burst onto the Internet retailing scene, offering discount
sporting goods, before attracting attention from Amazon.com
last summer. Coinciding with Amazon’s newly unveiled
initiatives to sell toys and consumer electronics, the e-tailing
posterchild also took a 49% stake in Gear.com. That ringing endorsement was
enough to attract a $12 million second round of funding for the newcomer
this summer, but not enough to keep Gear.com afloat just two months later.
The once-promising Miadora.com had billed itself as the Tiffany’s of the
Web, selling luxury good items alongside a bevy of me-too competitors in
the space. Before Net stocks began dying on the vine, the start-up
attracted loot fit for a king. Sequoia Capital weighed in with more than $6
million in seed money, while Amerindo Investment Advisors backed the idea
with an additional $25 million shortly thereafter.
In February, Miadora scooped up rival Jewelry.com for an undisclosed wad of
stock. And just ahead of April’s meltdown, investors poured another $20
million into the high-brow retailer. By late September, the San Mateo-based
company announced plans to layoff all of its 75 employees and liquidate any
Enter Overstock.com. The company is in the business of searching out
inventory from dot-com failures and overstocked merchants, and reselling
the goods at a deep discount. Operating out of a sprawling 100,000 square
foot warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, the upstart has quietly mushroomed
into one of the top 25 most visited retailers on the Web according to
The formula is remarkably simple. Keeping its eyes peeled for another
addition to the dot-com boneyard, Overstock.com goes bargain hunting for a
good deal. Last month, the company scooped up the inventory from
ToyTime.com, an online toy store that went belly-up this summer. In that
sweetheart deal, Overstock paid under $4 million for nearly $12 million
worth of goods.
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